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Type: Thesis
Title: Aspects of form and function : with some reference to Warlpiri and Latin
Author: Schwarz, Silvia
Issue Date: 2000
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : Linguistics
Abstract: The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the linguistic and sociolinguistic factors involved in a shift from free to fixed word order, with particular reference to a contact situation. Some of the questions asked therefore, refer to typological vulnerability: Is a non-configurational language vulnerable to change when it comes into contact with a configurational language? What relevance do sociolinguistic factors have in typological shift? As a starting point to answering these questions I have outlined some of the traditional approaches to studying language change, summarised aspects of language change as a result of a contact situation, including typological shift, and noted the background information necessary to understand such a shift. The V/arlpiri case study comprises the main part of the thesis. The main aim of this chapter is to make a link between linguistic and social change, and a possible shift in the freedom of word order, and to better understand the social and linguistic ecology which sustains free word order in Warlpiri. The Latin case study highlights the fact that as a result of contact, sociolinguistic factors triggered a shift in the 'freedom' of word order, and/or exacerbated changes already underway, even though Latin was a dominant and prestigious language. In conclusion, I suggest that non-configurational languages are inherently typologically vulnerable in a contact situation, and that diverse social and linguistic factors are involved in a change to the freedom of word order. As free word order in a language requires a complex morphology, which in turn requires a great deal of external support to maintain it (e.g. specific social structures such as literacy and education). It follows then, that if the existing sociolinguistic factors which support non-configurationality are altered or lost, and the functional need for non-configurationality is diminished (e.g. stylistic), the result will be a shift in confltgurationality.
Advisor: Mühlhäusler, Peter
Amery, Robert
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Adelaide, Centre for European Studies & General Linguistics, 2000.
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